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Oklahoma Governor Supports Trial Use of Cannaboid Oil

15-Aug-2014

In Oklahoma, we keep our Bible belt firmly buckled, and that belt doesn't boast too many notches. We were the last state to legalize tattoos. We have some of the strictest blue laws in the nation. Only low-point beer is available in grocery and convenience stores, and if you want to buy high point beer, you'll have to go to a  liquor store and buy it at room temperature. And marijuana? Well, our courts give life for pot. We don't do medical marijuana here, and we sure don't allow recreational pot.

Surprisingly, Governor Mary Fallin has just thrown her support behind the medical use of a marijuana component to treat seizures in young children. Canniboid oil (CBD) is a nonintoxicating substance in marijuana that is demonstrated in clinical trials to be effective in treating children with severe epilepsy. THC, the component of marijuana responsible for providing a "high," is present in only minute levels in canniboid oil, and the oil seems to have no intoxicating effect.

In trials across the nation, toddlers and children suffering from Dravet Syndrome have seen promising results from inhaling CBD through a nebulizer. Dravet Syndrome is a rare genetic type of epilepsy that usually presents in the first year of life of an otherwise healthy infant. The seizures a person with Dravet Syndrome suffer can cause developmental delays, and there may be a decrease in life expectancy due to Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) or from injuries or drowning occurring during a seizure.

The oil seems to reduce the frequency and severity of the seizures these children endure as part of their illness. 

It doesn't seem likely that Oklahoma will approve either recreational marijuana or medical marijuana any time soon; Governor Fallin opposes two initiative campaigns that would put recreational and medical marijuana on the ballot. She does, however, lend her support to allowing CBD trials for children:

“I do not support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, nor do I support a broadly defined ‘medicinal’ marijuana use that makes it easy for healthy adults and teenagers to find and buy drugs. I do support allowing potentially life-saving medicine to find its way to children in need. I am very interested in allowing limited, heavily supervised use of nonintoxicating CBD to be delivered on a trial basis to sick children in Oklahoma.”

Supporters of canniboid oil research say that it is important that Oklahoma enacts a bill that clearly legalizes CBD so that research and clinical trials can begin to help sick children in Oklahoma. Several states have legalized CBD, and others have already begun clinical trials, causing families of children with Dravet Syndrome to relocate.

The FDA says clinical trials involving marijuana products must be "adequate and well-controlled" to establish the safety and effectiveness of these drug components, particularly when the test subjects are infants and children.

It will be interesting to see if Oklahoma lends its support to this promising substance, or if the state sees the word "marijuana" and panics. For parents of children with severe epilepsy, getting help for their children can't come soon enough.



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